Death by Tomato

image of two women lying on a bed of squished tomatoes

Dear Beaver,

We found a farmer’s market in the next town, the hippie town, to us, and, of course, we deride hippies in general, the royal We, but really they have this town hopping. Everyone wants to go and hang out there when farmer’s market is open on Saturdays. So the royal We bought a box of reject tomatoes for $8 and then brought them home and washed them. And then I put them on the table where I usually sit for meals and let them dry. And now I won’t let Angelique move them, or even refrigerate them. I keep handling them like they’re knobs on a stereo.

We’ve had gazpacho 3 times now. And salsa once. And a tomato and feta salad. And still it looks as if the bunch has not dwindled. Or dreidelled (for the Jewish tomatoes).

Doris Lessing mentioned a simple and delicious recipe in her memoir (the first one) for tomato soup. I’d made it 15 years earlier and it was great.

Then we went to Mont Tremblant yesterday, but on the way stopped at a chocolate maker’s shop who we knew to discuss art, commerce, ice cream, and rich people. And then we left to go witness the mess called Iron Man at Tremblant. But because it’s apparently a big deal, all the roads were cut off. Roads in the wilderness. Totally cut off. So we’re driving around looking for a way to just get over there, when we pass by a tomato stand. There’s an old farmer lady in this kodak like booth, only it’s for tomatoes and not film. Angelique gets directions and then tells the lady, You know, we’d buy some of your tomatoes but we just bought a case that we can’t seem to get through. So what does the old lady do? She grabs Angelique’s hands while giving instructions on getting to Tremblant, and then insists that Angelique takes 2 of her own reject tomatoes. “They’re biologic,” she says when she gets back in the car.

Last night I dreamed the dream of making tomato soup. It wasn’t a how to dream, which aren’t really how-to dreams. I once had a how-to dream come to me when I was in the 4th grade and was terrorized by the art teacher and beading. The dream made it possible for me to finish the dreaded beading without flunking, but it was not really a solution as much as it was a weasling out of total failure. So the soup dream wasn’t telling me what Doris Lessing did to make awesome soup. To do that, I’m going to have to find her memoir again. But it was more like a permission dream, as in, “You’ve got enough tomatoes here to make soup AND also continue on with your hoarding for salsa at the drop of a hat or more gazpacho.”

A pleasure doing business with you.

Yours very truly,
Sheilerama

What do ya think?